Policy Analysis

Early Education Enrollment and Expenditure Patterns 1995-2005


These papers report on enrollments and expenditures for ECCE across the decade from 1995 to 2005 using three harmonized National Household Education Surveys. They explore the metrics of enrollment patterns by age of child, mother’s employment, marital status, expenditure patterns and prices paid per hour of services.

A Decade of Change: Early Education Enrollment and Expenditure Patterns 1995-2005 Early Childhood Care and Education: Enrollment Patterns and Expenditures Over the Decade 1995-2005 By Clive R. Belfield (December 2010) In these papers, author Clive Belf

Early Learning Scale: Technical Report


This technical report from NIEER researchers on the Early Learning Scale offers information on the use and reliability of the instrument and on the validity of the data.

By Shannon Riley-Ayers, Kwanghee Jung, and Ellen C. Frede (September 2010) This technical report from NIEER researchers on the Early Learning Scale, a performance-based assessment measure that uses student data collected through observation and work sa

New Jersey Preschool Expansion Assessment Research Study (PEARS)


The capacity and quality of non-Abbott child care centers, Head Start programs, and school district preschool programs across New Jersey are assessed in this study by NIEER.

New Jersey Preschool Expansion Assessment Research Study (PEARS) By Allison Friedman, Ellen Frede, Dale Epstein, Rachel Sansanelli, Debra Ackerman, and Judi Stevenson-Boyd (December 2009) NIEER researchers prepared this needs assessment of preschool pr

The APPLES Blossom: Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES), Preliminary Results through 2nd Grade


An ongoing study of New Jersey’s pre-K program finds that attending the program reduces grade retention and improves language, literacy and math skills.

By Ellen Frede, Kwanghee Jung, W. Steven Barnett, and Alexandra Figueras (June 2009) The second in a series, this report discusses the results of a rigorous study of New Jersey’s Abbott Preschool Program. The study estimates the learning gains of child

Policy Brief: Providing Preschool Education for All 4-Year-Olds: Lessons from Six State Journeys


This policy brief examines the efforts of six states in pursuit of preschool for all.

By Debra J. Ackerman, W. Steven Barnett, Laura E. Hawkinson, Kirsty Brown and Elizabeth A. McGonigle NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 18, March 2009) Summary Over the last decade, state-funded preschool education programs have grown and now enroll more than o

Policy Brief – Math and Science in Preschool: Policies and Practice


This policy brief reviews research addressing the development of mathematics and science knowledge in preschool children, identifies areas that require further study, and outlines recommendations for early education policy in these domains.

By Kimberly Brenneman, Judi Stevenson-Boyd and Ellen C. Frede NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 19, March 2009) Summary High-quality preschool experiences can positively affect later math achievement, and mathematics skills at school entry are correlated with

Policy Brief – Does Preschool Education Policy Impact Infant/Toddler Care?


Public support for the education and care of 3- and 4-year-olds has increased, but has this helped or hurt the provision of care for infants (children up to 12 months old) and toddlers (1- and 2-year-olds)? This policy brief examines trends in supply and demand in the infant/toddler care market, reviews state and federal policies for infant/toddler care, and recommends policy changes that could ensure new preschool policies benefit infant/toddler care and avoid unintended negative consequences.

By Debra J. Ackerman and W. Steven Barnett NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 20, March 2009) Summary Public support for the education and care of 3- and 4-year-olds has increased, but has this helped or hurt the provision of care for infants (children up to 12

Policy Brief – Federal Early Childhood Policy Guide For The First 100 Days


At the request of President-elect Obama’s transition team, this NIEER policy brief provides guidance on federal investments in preschool and child care for the sake of America’s children.

by Steve Barnett and Ellen Frede, NIEER Co-directors NIEER Policy Brief (1/8/09) Summary At the request of the president-elect’s transition team, NIEER Co-directors W. Steven Barnett and Ellen Frede developed federal policy proposals, including suggest

Policy Brief – Connecting Neurons, Concepts, and People: Brain Development and its Implications


This policy brief summarizes what is known about early brain development and corrects some of the common misunderstandings of the research.

By Ross A. Thompson NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 17, December 2008) Summary Over the last decade, news reports, policy statements, and commercial marketing have all contributed to the public’s understanding of early brain growth. While the most significan

Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications


Amid debate over the benefit of preschool programs, this new brief examines what researchers currently know about the potential of those programs to bring about positive change.

Policy Brief – Challenging Behaviors and the Role of Preschool Education


This policy brief from NIEER examines the role of preschool education in regard to problem behaviors in young children.

By Lisa A. McCabe and Ellen C. Frede NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 16, December 2007) Summary Is there a rise in challenging behaviors among young children in early care and education? Is preschool a contributing factor or can it provide positive experienc

Policy Brief – Who Goes to Preschool and Why Does it Matter? (Updated)


What are the factors that influence preschool enrollment? See who goes to preschool by age, ethnicity, income, maternal employment and education and region in this policy brief.

By W. Steven Barnett and Donald J. Yarosz NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 15, November 2007) Summary Preschool participation in the U.S. has been increasing steadily over the last four decades. By 2005, more than two-thirds of the nation’s 4-year-olds were e

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES)


This report presents the results of a longitudinal study of New Jersey's public preschool program, which found that children attending the program improve in language, literacy and math skills through the end of their kindergarten year.

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES) by Ellen Frede, Kwanghee Jung, W. Steven Barnett, Cynthia Esposito Lamy, and Alexandra Figueras (June 2007) This report discusses the results of a rigorous study of New Jersey’s Abbott Pr

Building Early Childhood Facilities: What States Can Do to Create Supply and Promote Quality


This report explores common facility issues and outlines strategies for policymakers to address early care and education facility needs.

By Carl Sussman with Amy Gillman April 2007 Summary Much of the growth in early care and education can be attributed to research that shows the educational, social, and economic benefits of high-quality preschool education. As states’ efforts to provid

Policy Brief – Is Public Pre-K Preparing Hispanic Children to Succeed in School?


Hispanic children who attend high-quality preschool programs have been found to benefit as much as children from other backgrounds, and sometimes more.

By Luis M. Laosa and Pat Ainsworth NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 13, March 2007) Summary While public preschool programs are expanding across the country, there is a lag in participation by the nation’s fastest growing and yet most educationally challenged

Policy Brief – Building Early Childhood Facilities: What States Can Do to Create Supply and Promote Quality


This brief explores common facility issues and outlines strategies for policymakers to address early care and education facility needs.

By Carl Sussman and Amy Gillman NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 14, April 2007) Summary Much of the growth in early care and education can be attributed to research that shows the educational, social, and economic benefits of high-quality preschool education

Policy Brief – Preschool Curriculum Decision-Making: Dimensions to Consider


This report provides a framework for decision-makers to use in evaluating which curriculum might be most appropriate for their specific preschool education program.

By Ellen Frede and Debra J. Ackerman NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 12, March 2007) Summary The educational effectiveness of preschool relies on a program’s curriculum, or the content of what children learn in preschool and how it is taught. Given the multi

Policy Report – Early Childhood Development and Social Mobility


This policy report examines the effects of preschool education on social mobility in the United States.

By W. Steven Barnett and Clive R. Belfield NIEER Policy Report (October 2006) Summary This policy report examines the effects of preschool education on social mobility in the United States, noting that many current programs fail to enroll even half of

A Review of the Reason Foundation’s Report on Preschool and Kindergarten


An analysis by NIEER of the Reason Foundation's report Assessing proposals for preschool and kindergarten: Essential information for parents, taxpayers and policymaker.

A Review of the Reason Foundation’s Report on Preschool and Kindergarten By W. Steven Barnett 2006 Summary NIEER Director Steve Barnett’s analysis finds that the Reason Foundation (RF) report is an unreliable source of information about preschool educa

Policy Brief – Increasing the Effectiveness of Preschool Programs


This policy brief reviews research on the inputs contributing to quality and the features of preschool programs that impact children's learning and development.

By Debra J. Ackerman and W. Steven Barnett NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 11, July 2006) Summary Although positive gains have been produced by high-quality preschool programs, the quality of programs currently available is far from uniform, with the vast ma